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Dublin Carol

Dublin Carol
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Conor McPherson
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 43
Pub. Date: 2003
ISBN-10: 0822219506
ISBN-13: 9780822219507

About the Play:

Dublin Carol is a full-length drama by Conor McPherson. John, a man whose life was nearly destroyed by drinking, now holds down a steady job at a Dublin undertaker’s office. When his estranged daughter appears on Christmas Eve with disturbing news, it sets off a series of painful confessions that ultimately offer John a chance to escape the burdens of his past. A magical, compelling play from the author of The Weir.

Dublin Carol centers around John Plunkett, an undertaker in his late fifties. The play is divided into three scenes, all of which take place in his office in Dublin on Christmas Eve. In the morning we see John interacting with Mark, a twenty-year-old boy who is helping John while the boss, Noel, is in hospital having tests. John and Mark return from a funeral service, and John regales Mark with stories from his past, and how he met Noel, who is incidentally, Mark's uncle. Noel saved John from a life of alcoholism and gave him a job here. John seems anxious for Mark to keep him company this morning, and he only allows him to leave when the whiskey he is knocking back runs out. The next scene sees the arrival of Mary, John's estranged daughter who's in her thirties. She implores John to come and see Helen, his wife and her mother. She is sick in hospital and has asked to see John. John abandoned his family twenty years ago, and his feelings of guilt and anguish make him turn angrily on Mary. But he finally agrees to go. Mary says she will call back to collect him at five o'clock. In the last scene, Mark returns for his wages to find John collapsed in a drunken stupor. He helps John to recover a little, and the two men get into a fight because Mark has tried, unsuccessfully, to break up with his girlfriend during the afternoon and feels terrible, but John dismisses Mark's feelings. Mark goes to storm out, but John stops him, apologizes and explains his own problem; he is so afraid to see his family again and face his shameful past. Mark helps John galvanize himself to go. They wish each other happy Christmas, and Mark leaves. John washes himself and puts on his good jacket and tie. He sits waiting for Mary to return as the bells chime out five o'clock. And that's where the play ends.

Dublin Carol was first staged in 2000 at the Royal Court Theatre in London.

Cast: 1 women, 2 men.

What people say:

"McPherson's short play is excellent: tough on love and the causes of love; profoundly sympathetic and damning about the denizens of the drunk tank." — Time Out (London)

"...a theatrical spellbinder...." — The Daily Telegraph

"…storytelling in a rich and evocative style." — CurtainUp (London)

About the Playwright:

Conor McPherson is an Irish playwright and co-founder of the Fly by Night Theatre Company. He has won numerous awards, including a Laurence Olivier Award for The Weir and Tony Award nominations for Shining City and The Seafarer.

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